I’ve been drawing a new comic called I’m New Here for a local newspaper called The River Journal. They cover a bunch of towns up here in Westchester, including mine. I say up here because Westchester is north of NYC, and that’s sort of where everything is judged by around these parts. Anyway, you can see the first four strips here. There’s certainly a theme, as you can tell from the title. I grew up in an apartment in Queens so being new to the suburbs provides endless ideas. If you’re lucky enough to live in a Hudson river town, you get the printed version delivered right into your mailbox. Good times.
Posted in home owernship, marriage, New York, parenthood
Tagged deer, dobbs ferry, garden, home ownership, house, im new here, irvington, lawn, marriage, mulch, new york, new york city, NYC, parenthood, sleepy hollow, suburbs, tarrytown, ticks, westchester
This week’s Dustinland comic is about how I feel about being Jewish, which is different than most Jews, I would imagine, since I am very non-Jewish in terms of practicing religion, or even cultural traditions for that matter. Basically, I light a menorah once a year and my parents make potato pancakes. That’s how Jewish I am. It stops there. But still, I am part of something much bigger. I’m a funny (supposedly) New Yorker that works in the media/advertising industries, so there’s that. But the whole thing is pretty weird. Not to be too much of a hippie stoner about it, but I’m just a person trying to make his way through life, and yet I am caught up in this centuries old feud, where you have to assume at least a billion people don’t like me, or at least don’t like the idea of me.
I don’t know. Everything is just awful right now, and getting worse. I mean, forget anti-semitism. Brazil is about to destroy the Amazon and China just said let’s kill all tigers and rhinos. The world is fucked. Mankind is doomed. But hey, I guess blame the Jews.
This week’s Dustinland comic is about how the MTA and Metro-North just erected a 150-foot cell tower right next to a low income housing community’s playground in Tarrytown, Westchester, where I live. I don’t live in that community, but I do live close by, and I thought I was pissed when I could see this huge ugly pole out my window. I can’t imagine what these people feel like, having this thing looming over them.
I’m actually part of a grassroots movement that’s trying to get this thing moved, but I think it will be a tough fight. I’ve been looking into it and it sounds like these things go up all over the country and no one wants them but basically it’s like, tough shit, losers. But it’s at least worth fighting it. I know these things have to go somewhere, but why there? I mean, the town isn’t even getting paid! It’s on MTA property, tax free, so they can rent it out to phone service providers and keep all the profit, and we get nothing except an eyesore and maybe some radiation. Now that’s America.
Posted in New York, politics
Tagged catherine rinadli, cell phone radiation, cell phone tower, cell tower, cell tower radiation, cuomo, irvington, metro north, MTA, new york, protest, tarrytown, westchester
Let me get into the interesting details behind this week’s Dustinland comic.
See, I drew the first half based on my daily annoyances that are pretty well spelled out in the strip. But then, after it was all done and even uploaded, this morning I listened to an episode of This American Life, which I never do on my commute, because I never do the podcast thing, always opting for music instead. And this episode, it was about a French comedian trying to make it in America. At one point Jeff Garland is critiquing his set, and just goes off. “He’s a craftsman, but he’s not an artist because I don’t care about what he’s talking about. He doesn’t care! Talk about what you care about! That’s interesting!”
And I was inspired to go deeper with this strip. Because as you can see, I do care. It’s about the principle. Not just the bag, not just the minor inconvenience. Every time this happens, I think about all this stuff, all this human nature misery. It riles me up. That’s why I care. And now you know. Thanks, Ira Glass!
Posted in New York
Tagged commute, commuter train, commuting, hudson valley, irvington, metro north, MTA, new york, new york city, NYC, river towns, subway, tarrytown, train, trains, westchester
This week’s Dustinland comic is my first since moving to a house in Westchester, and my last before the stupid U.S. election. I decided to spare you more political nonsense and just threw you something lighthearted about my new place in the world. And yes, it’s been two weeks since my last update. Very unusual. Aside from vacations and work trips, I have updated my site with a new comic once a week since 2000. So as you can imagine, I’ve been busy. Man, moving SUCKS. Glad I’m finally here. It’s pretty great. And yeah, the comic thing, I do feel like that but only sometimes. Like when I sit on the back of the train where all the midtown finance guys sit. The front is way chiller.
Man, as I said in this week’s Dustinland, I really thought the Mets had it this year. After a shitty first half they had such an amazing second half, ended on a bright note, then had a killer first two rounds of the postseason. Things were so magical — how did KC just stop us dead in our tracks?! I guess they had their own magic that beat ours. Kind of like a game of Magic The Gathering except not.
Man, losing all the time SUCKS. What a downer. I’m so tired of expecting to lose. I don’t know how Cubs fans deal with it. Or how Boston did. I guess that’s what made Boston’s first World Series in a zillion years so fulfilling. But I mean, I really don’t want to wait decades. I think since 1986 is more than enough. Especially in a town like NYC where there’s another team—one that wins every other year and spends twice what the Mets does, since they’re not bankrupt and we are. Damnit. I could go on all night but it’s too late. Stupid sports.
I’m back with a new Dustinland after a week off for my summer vacation, and this comic is about hipster T-shirts. Well, at the time they weren’t really hipster T-shirts. They were just cheap ass used shirts that were perfect for recent college graduates barely scraping by in NYC—or any other place really. This was back in the early 2000s before social media, so there actually were secrets that lasted for a little while. Today, forget it. If someone found a place to get cool anything for cheap it’ll be posted and shared to death within days and before you know it, bye bye. It’s ruined.
Thankfully these days I can afford to pay more than $2 for a shirt and I’m sort of at that point where I don’t wear tees to work, but I still think it’s sad that this isn’t even an option anymore for those who wish it was, if there are such people, which there may no longer be.
Posted in New York, pop culture
Tagged clothes, Dustinland, fashion, hipster, hipsters, ironic, irony, shirts, style, tshirts, vintage
The holiday season has officially begun, and I already picked out my Christmas tree, one week earlier than I normally do. And that’s what inspired this week’s Dustinland comic. The happiness generated by my new tree reminded me of the time way back, depressingly over a decade ago, when I bought my own secret private tree that I spitefully hid from my roommates. And don’t get me wrong, we were all on very good terms before and after that. I just got pissed off and reacted in the heat of the moment, and then decided to go with it as some sort of weird sort of funny lesson. I doubt anyone learned anything from it, besides me, and all I learned was how to put a Christmas tree using a crappy $5 metal base (it ain’t easy).
Anyway, I do love the holiday season. As I said in another comic a year or two ago, one nice thing about having kids is that it brings some fun back into the season. Sure, it’s always pretty and nice and cozy, and there’s that whole thing where there are actually several days when you don’t have to work, but overall, as you get older, it starts to lose its magic. But you become a parent and suddenly Santa is back in the picture and things are exciting again. See, there you go, some positivity, right after I bah humbugged and somehow manage to turn the act of buying a Christmas tree into something spiteful. Now that takes talent, no?